Do visual media work differently to other media forms? – Week 9

Visual media absolutely work differently to other media forms. Visual media is an intermediate through which people can get information, news or data along with pictures. It is a medium to spread our ideas with help of pictures. Visual media is effectively in making the information simple, clear and reliable.

Visual media, like a real photo, is more efficiently to lead audience believed the information and data. For example, according to the news published in ‘Metro.co.uk’ by Anon, the article tells us that the polar bear is being threatened by the climate change. We can realise that global warming caused ice melting and the proportion of habitat is decreasing, and, polar bear will extinct soon if the ice keeps melting. It is hard to lead people entirely believed the dangerous situation of the polar bear without see it in real, because I’m sure that not much people have been in arctic before. Therefore, photo is the most helpful evidence to prove this content. It is where visual media work differently to other media forms; they present information in a way that people can see.

Moreover, a diverse range of content is sometimes difficult to know where to start. Visual media is used to simplify the complex information and indicated to publics in a transparent form. For example, according to the source from ‘co2now.org’, intricate data of CO2 has been showed by the graph that we can clearly know the number of CO2 is increasing from 1955 until now and it will increasing in the future. Traditional media, like print media, usually list all the data by word that audience will not get the main message promptly. Reader will have trouble to understand the connection between the years and the number of CO2 by themselves, when the number presented through the article. Therefore, we know that not all of information can be present by word form. Visual media is the only effective mode to show the complex information when the complex information is hard to described in words.

Additionally, visual media can show the relationship of the multi-information much better than the other media forms. Audience can clearly understand the connection between the related information in a picture. For example, the picture from ‘Information is Beautiful’ by Anon indicated both CO2 levels and global temperature in single picture. Such multi-information is not able to present in print media, because it is hard to describe all the information in words. Therefore, visual media is the only choice to present this data effectively.

Furthermore, voluminous data can be presented in video that can reduce much more time of audience to get the message. For example, the video below shows ten years sequence of global fires. Audience can only spend one minute to go through ten years observation of fire around the world. This is what traditional media can’t do it as well.

In conclusion, today’s society is highly visual, and visual imagery is no longer supplemental to other forms of information. New digital technologies have made it possible for almost anyone to create and share visual media. Thus, I can say that visual media definitely work differently to other media forms.

Reference:

Anon. (2008) ‘Struggling polar bears put on endangered list’, Metro.co.uk, May 15, <http://www.metro.co.uk/news/147937-struggling-polar-bears-put-on-endangered-list>, accessed 29th April, 2012

The co2now blog, <http://co2now.org/>, accessed 29th April, 2012

Anon. (2009) ‘The Global Warming Skeptics versus the Scientific Consensus’, Information is Beautiful, <http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/>, accessed 29th April, 2012

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnocXTq5IVU>, accessed 30th April, 2012

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